With all of the sunlight shining through our homes, the Spring season has finally arrived! Your cat might be spending more time sitting on the window sill enjoying the warmth on their fur while your dog is nudging you that they are eager for another walk. This is the perfect time to freshen up your space and get organized. Here are 10 tips for spring cleaning as a pet parent.
1. Reduce Allergens
As cute as they can be, we know all too well that pets can carry bacteria and allergens from outdoors inside your home. Reducing pet-related allergens is an important step to keeping your home clean and safe for family members or guests with allergies or asthma. To remove pet allergens, vacuum any dust, dirt or debris found on carpets with a high-powered vacuum that uses a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to avoid filling the air with irritable particles as you clean. You should also mop all flooring and disinfect hard surfaces with a natural cleaner to remove as many allergens as you can.
2. Wash Bedding & Blankets
Pets can leave bacteria and allergens on their bedding too. Make sure to remove fur from their bedding and blankets before putting them in the washing machine for a much needed cleaning. If your pet spends their days lounging around in their bed and it's starting to look worn no matter how much you clean it, then you may want to consider replacing it with a new one.
3. Deodorize Couches, Carpets & Rugs
Harsh odors from soft surfaces like couches, carpets and rugs can become unbearable over time, so don't wait until your home becomes smelly to freshen it up. To eliminate tough odors once and for all, sprinkle some baking soda on the smelly surface and let sit for at least 20 minutes. The baking soda will absorb the odors and then you can vacuum it all up for a fresh, clean scent.
4. Clean Out The Litter Box
It's no surprise that litter boxes are one of the main culprits for smelly odors, but it's also a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. A dirty litter box can potentially cause bacterial infections in humans, so cleaning it regularly is essential no matter the season. Dispose of any old litter, then thoroughly wash the litter box with warm, soapy water and dry before adding fresh litter. Don't forget to wear gloves and clean all surface areas including the lid and scooper!
5. Wash Their Collar
There's a good chance it's been a while since you've thoroughly cleaned your pet's collar. It's easy to forget that a little collar can get dirty but it can actually hold harmful bacteria and germs if not cleaned regularly. If your pet's collar is nylon, then simply toss it in the washing machine or soak it in warm, soapy water for 15 and let air dry.
Reminder: For your pet's safety, don't forget to put a backup collar on your pet while their main one is being washed!
6. Replace Their Toys
All of your pet's favorite toys could be hiding some serious bacteria, yeast and mold. Even after cleaning them regularly by hand or in the washing machine, they could be still be due for a replacement. Damaged toys that are ripped, have stuffing falling out or sharp edges from being chewed on could injure your pet - especially if small parts are digested.
It's time to take a good look at your pet's toy collection and see if there are any that need to be tossed. After cleaning up, treat your pet with a visit to your local pet specialty store to pick out a new toy.
7. Clean Your Yard
Picking up behind your pup is important, but some pet parents miss picking up some poop during winter weather when it's hard to tell where your dog did their business. Now that the snow has cleared, pick up any poop that hasn't decomposed over the winter months with a pair of gloves and a poop bag. Afterwards, take a walk around the yard picking up any bones, dead animals, or anything that could be a choking hazard.
Bonus Tip: While you're out there, it's also a good idea to check any fences or gates to see if any repairs are needed.
8. Check Your Medicine Cabinet
For many pet parents, the medications that your pet needs during sickness or as they age end up in the medicine cabinet next to your own bottle of cold medicine. As you wrap up your spring cleaning around the house, go through your pet's medications to see if any of them have expired. The potency and concentration of medications fade after they expire, making them unsafe to administer to your pet. Don't flush or throw away those medications though!
Bring them to your local veterinarian or pet specialty store instead for proper disposal. Flushing medications can cause them to leak into local ground water while tossing them in the trash can contaminate landfills and impact wildlife.
Visit your local pet store to speak with a knowledgeable sales associate and find out which diet is right for your pet!
Don’t forget to call ahead to see if any curbside pickup or delivery options are available.